CN said the move would aid, and not hinder, EJ&E's role as a key element in addressing freight rail traffic in the Chicago metropolitan area, and would have no negative impact on CN's improvement program for the EJ&E itself.
CN's move to acquire EJ&E, which it accomplished Feb. 1, 2009, generated widespread opposition from local municipalities along the railroad in Illinois and Indiana, some of which lingered beyond the acquisition itself. CN said the merger will not alter the Surface Transportation Board's continuing oversight and jurisdiction over the EJ&E acquisition, which involves numerous mitigation measures concerning safety and environmental impact.
The merger of the two U.S. railroads will offer operational efficiencies and service improvements, according to CN Senior Vice President Jim Vena.
The EJ&E runs in a 198-mile semicircle through suburban communities ringing Chicago. Wisconsin Central, acquired by CN in 2001, runs north from Chicago to blanket its namesake state, with lines also reaching the upper Michigan peninsula and into Ontario. The two railroads intersect at Leithton Junction, near Mundelein, Ill., north of Chicago.